Gay or straight, marriage makes relationships last longer


The stability of a relationship appears to be primarily a function of the couple’s own history, their relationship longevity, and their marital commitment, a new study has found.
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It doesn't seem to matter whether couples are gay or straight, those with marriage-like commitments have similar break-up rates, a new study has found.

Nor does it have any affect on the stability of the relationship whether same-sex unions are recognised by governments or not, as long as the commitment is marriage-like.

The findings, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, come from a US survey of 3,009 couples (471 same-sex) between 2009 and 2013.

“The marriage commitment is associated with a strong benefit in couple stability for both heterosexual couples and same-sex couples,” said Dr. Michael J. Rosenfeld, author of the study.

He explained his research as follows:

Previous studies have found same-sex couples to be less stable than heterosexual couples, which led me to my first two hypotheses:
Hypothesis 1: Same-sex couples will be found to have less relationship stability than heterosexual couples, on average.
Marriage and marriage-like commitments are less common among same-sex couples than among heterosexual couples. The higher rate of marriage among heterosexual couples may entirely explain the couple stability advantage of heterosexual couples.
Hypothesis 2: Same-sex couples and heterosexual couples will be found to have similar levels of rela- tionship stability once marriage is controlled for.
If marriage explains the relationship stability advantage of heterosexual couples, one would expect the following:
Hypothesis 3: Marriage has a similar positive association with couple longevity for same-sex couples and for heterosexual couples.

He concludes

Across all types of couples, couple stability appears to be primarily a function of the couple’s own history, their relationship longevity, and their marital commitment. ... Married couples are dramatically more likely to stay together than unmarried couples at all levels of relationship quality and at all relationship durations.

  1. https://www.ncfr.org/jmf
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